Over the past decade, I have been integrally involved in nearly a thousand events that have featured celebrity appearances including grand openings, hospitality events, corporate outings, consumer promotions, and fundraisers. In that time, I have witnessed wildly successful events as well as those that did not exactly bring down the house. Following are a few important keys to choosing the right celebrity or athlete for an effective celebrity appearance:
1. Focus on a focus group! You do not need to implement a formal focus group of a dozen members to learn who and what the people who make up your market are responding to. Ask family, friends and colleagues who live locally about their favorite teams and athletes from the past and present are. This will give you a better idea of the athletes that will likely capture the most attention in your region.
2. A little research goes a long way. If there are any particular athletes that you have an interest in securing for a celebrity appearance, be sure to spend a few minutes on-line to find out more about them. You will want to know about their affiliation with your area and ensure that there is a positive association. For example, people always love a hometown hero or a franchise player that was a fixture in your market for several years. On the other hand, you want to be sure he left the team on good terms and did not end up playing for your city’s despised rivals!
3. And the locals have it! When considering athletes for celebrity appearances, it is almost always more cost-effective to book a person who lives within driving distance to the event location. In addition to eliminating travel costs, celebrities are more likely to agree to participate in an appearance at a lower fee if the overall time commitment is minimal.
4. Call in a professional! We at Pro Sports MVP have decades of combined experience in the sports industry, specifically with celebrity appearances. We have an extensive network of athletes we work with who we know do a great job and treat our clients as priority #1. We also know through our connections and personal experience those athletes and celebrities that do not have the best reputation when participating in celebrity appearances. It is always best to consult a sports marketing company that can assist in profiling and securing celebrities and athletes that best fit with your company’s mission, the demographic of your prospective attendees and your budget.